- A recent survey has found that workers are stressed about taking sick days during the pandemic.
- Remote workers stress more about taking sick days than those working in-person, according to the poll.
- Workers are mostly in need of mental health days during the pandemic.
When you’re not feeling well, the last thing you need is to stress about taking a sick day from work.
But the pandemic has gotten people in the United States worried sick about calling in.
According to a survey of 2,000 workers in the United States, 42 percent of employees were more stressed or anxious about taking a sick day in 2020 than in years past. The survey was conducted by the virtual healthcare provider MDLIVE.
“Even though we know taking a sick day has always been stressful, the pandemic has really escalated that stress even more,” Dr. Cynthia Zelis, chief medical officer of MDLIVE, told Healthline.
Working from home adds more stress to the matter as sick day stress was found to be higher among people working remotely than those working in-person. Additionally, 60 percent of remote workers reported their boss or employer expects them to work in some way when taking a sick day.
Given so, it’s no surprise that 45 percent of those working from home feel guilty taking a sick day.
“[In] a work-from-home situation, we are often feeling additional pressure to showcase we are getting things done. This leads to longer hours, less breaks, and more mental fatigue. So, the importance for time to reset when feeling the potential pressures of burnout is completely reasonable,” Sherese Ezelle, a mental health counselor in Washington state, told Healthline.
Since people are working longer hours at home, Zelis said that in addition to not taking sick days, people are delaying seeing a doctor.
When considering taking a sick day in 2020, 23 percent of workers were most concerned about catching COVID-19 at their doctor’s office.
“When they are finally coming to see us in the telemedicine space, most said they [have] delayed care,” she said.
The survey also found the following:
- Workers estimated that taking a sick day costs them, on average, $227 in lost income and out-of-pocket expenses with the highest average estimated sick day expense being a visit to the doctor ($63), followed by estimated lost income ($60), and estimated childcare costs ($53).
- Men were more stressed about taking a sick day in 2020 over previous years than women.
- While men were most stressed about keeping up with work, women were most stressed about helping kids with their schoolwork.